Laser Treatment of “Broken Capillaries”

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Many patients develop blood vessels occurring on the face, eyelids, nose, and other areas.  These vessels are often red in color but may also be blue.  In most cases, vascular lasers may be used to eliminate or dramatically improve the appearance of these unwanted vessels. Larger blue vessels located on the eyelids and face typically respond beautifully to laser therapy, but when located on the legs their response to laser therapy is somewhat less predictable due to the amount of energy required to achieve best outcomes.  Venous lakes, bluish colored vascular lesions commonly found on the lips, also respond very nicely to laser treatment.  Larger vascular lesions such as port wine stains are best treated with laser but can require many treatments in order to achieve best outcomes. Dr. Biesman or his staff will advise you whether your particular concerns are best addressed with lasers or other techniques.

Typical Outcomes for Laser Treatment of Vascular Lesions

The typical outcome when treating red facial vessels is immediate disappearance without bruising or crusting. One to three treatments are usually required, with three to four weeks recommended between treatments.  When treating unwanted vessels on the legs, a greater number of treatments may be required.  Larger vessels in the legs may respond most favorably to injection therapy wall smaller vessels may be best suited to laser.  It is extremely important that your skin overlying the unwanted vessels is not tanned.  Laser treatment of tanned skin places one at higher risk for complications such as discoloration or scarring.  Your skin must be at its normal, baseline color before you undergo treatment for unwanted blood vessels.

What to Know about Treatment of Facial “Broken Capillaries”

  • Treatments are performed in the office without the need for anesthesia.
  • After treatment, most patients experience only mild redness that lasts for one to two days. Crusting can occur in the treatment area but this is relatively uncommon.  Should crusting occur following your laser treatment, it typically resolves within a few days to two weeks.
  • While the treated vessels usually do not recur, patients who have the tendency to develop unwanted blood vessels in their skin will likely do so again in the future. Periodic maintenance treatments are usually recommended.
  • Scarring after laser treatment of facial or leg veins is very uncommon but can occur. Should you experience this, additional laser treatments using other devices and /or subcision may be recommended to achieve best outcomes.

Leg Vein Management

For leg vein management, injection (sclerotherapy) and surgical removal of veins via ambulatory phlebectomy are the first line approach for treating larger veins. In other words, lasers, injections and surgery are all complementary as opposed to mutually exclusive treatments. Many patients require a combination of these treatments to achieve the best results. Dr. Biesman does not perform non-laser services for leg vein treatment, but he will be happy to make a referral to a physician qualified to do so. For patients with larger leg veins, Dr. Biesman typically recommends seeking treatment of these prior to undergoing laser therapy. Note: It is important to be aware that following laser treatment of leg veins the vessels may appear darker for a few weeks before improving. Depending on the number of vessels treated, an individual laser treatment of facial or leg veins typically takes 15-30 minutes.